[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Westerly 8-13-1991 by Ch. No. 983 as Ch. 17 of the 1991 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Superintendent of Hacks shall be the Chief of Police who shall issue all licenses for hacks, hackney-carriages, taxicabs and other vehicles for the conveyance of passengers for hire, and for the persons driving and having charge thereof.
The Superintendent of Hacks from time to time, may grant to any person deemed by him suitable, licenses to set up or use hacks, hackney-carriages, taxicabs or other vehicles for the conveyance of persons for hire within the Town, and also licenses to drive or have charge of such vehicles. No license shall be issued to any person who is not at least 21 years of age and a citizen residing in this state or to any person who has been convicted of any indictable offense within a period of three years. The Superintendent shall not license any person to operate or drive any such vehicle who is unable to converse intelligibly in the English language. The Superintendent shall issue all such licenses granted by him and shall collect the license fees therefor and pay the same to the Town Treasurer, and shall keep a full and complete record of the name and place of residence of the owner of each such licensed vehicle, with the number and description of such vehicle, and the name and place of residence of each person licensed by him to drive or have charge of such vehicle.
The following rules are established for the regulation of hacks, hackney-carriages, taxicabs or other vehicles for the conveyance of passengers for hire in the Town:
Definition. Every vehicle (except vehicles running upon rails or tracks) used for the conveyance of persons for hire shall be deemed to be subject to this chapter within the meaning of these rules, unless exempted by state or federal law.
Licenses required. No person shall use any such vehicle for the conveyance of passengers for hire within the Town without a license therefor. No person shall drive or have charge of any such vehicle within the Town without a valid driver's license.
Issuance of licenses; record. The Superintendent of Hacks may, in his discretion, from time to time, grant licenses, to use or drive such vehicles for the conveyance of persons for hire within the Town, upon such conditions as such Superintendent may deem expedient; and a record of all licenses so granted shall be kept by the Superintendent of Hacks.
Fees; application information. For every license so granted for vehicles used for the conveyance of persons for hire, there shall be paid the sum provided in Chapter 121, Fee Schedule, per seat of the passenger seating capacity thereof, exclusive of the driver's seat, according to the manufacturer's rating thereof. The application for a license for any such vehicle shall state the name and place of residence of the applicant, a full description of the vehicle to be used, the name of the maker, kind of motive power and the amount thereof stated in figures of horsepower, and the number of the engine, if any. For every license so granted to persons to drive and have charge of any such vehicle, there shall be paid the sum provided in Chapter 121.
Expiration of license; transfer; suspension; revocation. All licenses shall expire on the 15th day of June next after the date thereof, and no license shall be sold, assigned or transferred without the consent of the Superintendent of Hacks endorsed thereon or a new license issued in place thereof. The Superintendent may suspend after a hearing any driver licensed under this chapter for such period as he may deem wise for the public good. He may also revoke any license granted under this chapter.
Responsibility of licensee. The person in whose name a license is taken out shall, for all the purposes of these rules, be considered as the owner of the vehicle licensed, and for any violation of such rules shall be liable to all the fines, forfeitures and penalties hereinafter prescribed, until, upon the sale or other disposition of the vehicle licensed, notice thereof be given to the Superintendent of Hacks and the license delivered to him.
Identification card. The Superintendent of Hacks shall deliver to the licensee an identification card stating thereon the number of the license and the name, age, height, weight, color of hair, color of eyes and race of the licensee and the term of the license. The identification card shall be carried by the licensee at all times while operating or in charge of any such vehicle in any street, highway or public place. Every person while driving or in charge of any such vehicle in any street, highway or public place shall carry the license for such hackney-carriage and at any time when requested by any police officer shall show him the license and the identification card.
Schedule of rates. Before a license is granted to set up or use a vehicle regulated by this chapter, the person applying for such license shall file with the Superintendent of Hacks a schedule of rates to apply for the use of such vehicle and such schedule of rates to apply for the use until a new or different schedule of rates shall be filed with the Superintendent.
Exhibiting identification and rates in vehicle. The name of the owner and the number of the license, together with the rates of fare, shall be placed on a card in all such vehicles in the most conspicuous place for the information of passengers.
Compliance with rules. No owner or driver of any such vehicle shall use or drive it, or permit the same to be used or driven, without complying with each and all of the foregoing rules.
In any street or square or any place of public entertainment where hacks or other carriages attend for passengers, the Superintendent of Hacks or any person authorized by him may give directions respecting the standing of such carriages while waiting for passengers and the route they shall take in going to or leaving such place of entertainment; and if the owner, driver or other person having the care of any such vehicle shall neglect or refuse to obey such directions, he shall be guilty of a violation of this chapter.
No owner or driver of any vehicle licensed under this chapter shall suffer it to stand in any street or highway of the Town, except during such hours and on such portions of the streets or highways as may be designated for that purpose by the Superintendent of Hacks.
No person other than the owner or driver of a vehicle licensed under this chapter shall accept passengers, to be conveyed for hire, within the Town.
Every person who shall violate or who shall refuse or neglect to obey any of the rules or orders or the provisions of any section of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than $20 or be imprisoned for not more than three months, or both.